We Civil Engineers have it real hard, I say. In spite of being the real engineers, we are made to slog (work 8 hour days with an hour lunch) for four days a week, sometimes five! Now they want me to take the Professional Engineering Exam to get certified and here’s the ridiculous part- they want me to pass it too. So I applied for it grudgingly. State of Illinois rejected my application saying my foreign degree (Indian degree) was falling short of 27 credits of Humanities (I have 85 extra credits in Engineering subjects which obviously is not a concern here). Yay! At least I have a valid excuse not to write the horrid exam. I could even stop harassing my parents for lying to me that the exams would stop after I graduated from college.
But the corporate folks said- no promotion, no pay hikes, exam passing must! Talent doesn’t count… touching my nose with my tongue was getting stale anyway.
So I applied to Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and 50 other states. I’m telling you, they added a few more states out of the blue while I was applying. When I was about to file for bankruptcy, Ohio accepted. I have mixed emotions about this.
In two months, I need to cram up everything I had paid no heed to in college and some more. This is precisely what I mean. All you other engineers got away with omitting most of the portions, just going through old question papers, making sure you studied for just the 36% passing mark and visiting the temple before you ran off to the examination hall. I did that, and now I am in deep trouble.
Today, being a Saturday, I woke up to an ALARM!!!! I lugged my books ( 20 kilograms without the weight of the calculator) to the LIBRARY! A bed or a couch within a mile radius is bad news for me. Sitting at home and studying is surely not an option if I want to pass the legal way. I spent the better part of Friday thinking of illegal ways that would keep me out of a death sentence.
So the Library (a good walk from my apartment) was CLOSED! Of all the years I have been here, one day I choose to visit the library and the same day it decides to close. Not deterred, I make up my mind not to go back home defeated. I walk into Barnes and Nobel and find a desk that is as secluded as it can get in a swarming bookstore. It's near the 'Religion' section and shouldn't prove to be distracting. After and hour of scanning through a book called 'Judaism for Lesbians' (both Judaism and Lesbianism are suddenly my favorite topics), I settle down pretty quick, pull out my faithful calculator, see my name embossed in huge letters with my roll number and ‘V semester’. It also says ‘resides in the Ladies Hostel’. I smile and start to press some random digits. BLANK! It has been in coma from I don’t know when. Maybe even before V semester and I just didn’t realize it. Arrrg! I run to the nearest store and buy a swanky new Casio. Back in Barnes and Nobel I notice that some homeless person has taken my desk to have a nap. I look around and find one close to Starbucks.
Even before an hour had passed, I had consumed a glass of Green Tea Frappuccino, one coffee cake, a biscotti and Chai Tea (yeah, translated it would go- Tea Tea). I had made a lot of progress in increasing my weight, but none in my knowledge of Reverse Curves. After surveying, I moved my bearings to another location next to the window. Aha! Nice and bright away from Starbucks… great place to tackle the hardest of problems. I see one right now! There was the dilemma, outside the window, across the street, in big bold letters- EXCRUTIATING SALE! 40% markdowns on every single shoe!
By the end of the day, I was 5 pounds heavier (with all the eating and drinking) and 20 pounds lighter (with the shoe purchases, i.e if you convert to pounds from dollars). Using the calculator, 5-20= -15 pounds. Phew, too much engineering for the day!